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My Favorite War My Favorite War

Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen / Norway, Latvia / 2020 / 82 min / Russian, Latvian, English

Based on the director’s childhood memories from growing up in Cold War Soviet Latvia.

Directed and written by: Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen, Art director: Svein Nyhus, Animation: Krišjānis Ābols, Neil Hammer, Arnis Zemītis, Kerija Arne, Toms Burāns, Editing: Julie Vinten, Reinis Rinka, Music: Kārlis Auzāns, Sound Design: Ernests Ansons, Voices: Mare Eihe, Madara Bore, Regīna Razuma, Kaspars Znotiņš, Anete Vanaga, Producers: Trond Jacobsen, Guntis Trekteris, Production: Bivrost Film, Ego Media, Distribution: Ego Media

IMDb

On finding the bones of a German soldier in her sandbox, Ilze wonders what is buried beneath the authoritarian lies and propaganda around her. She sets off on a voyage of discovery.

It’s a coming-of-age story, a personal escape route from the mighty authoritarian regime’s brainwashing. An anti-war film, emphasizing the importance of an individual’s freedom being a democratic society’s fundamental right.

Animated documentary is a specific way of storytelling. It’s an artistic choice. In my case I knew that there is no archive footage where those emotions from the Soviet times that I wanted to reveal are documented. I could choose to make a fiction film, but then I would be asked to add something that did not happen to make the story more edgy or dramatic, or richer. Now it is how I felt it. And with facts from my life. Including the themes in the exam essay, or the school's cook who got famous for her stealing. Including the right visuals of the details. To draw the props, costumes or locations is cheaper than to make them, if I might joke a bit.
- Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen

The film is about finding your own truth and identity beneath the state propaganda. It is about getting wiser, about understanding how you can learn to think independently. I sensed very early in my childhood that there was one truth about what the reality is at home and something different, some other reality, outside the home, in the official society. So the film is about the process of how to become one person without double identities and lies to yourself.
- Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen

We were touched by this memoir that is part of a bigger story. It gives a vivid feeling for a young girl growing up and evolving in a small Latvian town during the Soviet occupation. My Favorite War teaches the global value of freedom and demonstrates how a very personal story can be of universal interest.
- Annecy jury, 2020

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